LEADING OFF: Braves skidding into break, Ramos out of ASG
By The Associated Press
Jul. 15, 2018
A look at what's happening around the majors Sunday:
Despite boasting an NL-best four All-Stars, the Braves are freefalling going into the midsummer break. Atlanta has lost 8 of 10, including the first two games of its series against Arizona, to drop out of first place in the NL East. Julio Teheran (6-6, 4.26) tries to get the Braves a victory to close out the unofficial first half against the Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin (6-3, 3.09).
Rays catcher Wilson Ramos said he's "probably" going to the DL after experiencing left hamstring tightness Saturday and will miss next week's All-Star Game as well. Ramos was voted the AL's starting catcher, his second All-Star nod overall, and has hit .297 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs this season. "I worked really hard to make that team," a disappointed Ramos said. Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes was named to the AL team in Ramos' place.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is expected to begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as he recovers from a groin strain. Sanchez has been sidelined since June 25, but has steadily improved in recent days and is ready to return to the field. New York manager Aaron Boone said that if Sanchez continues to progress, the plan is for him to start behind the plate in the club's first game after the All-Star break — July 20 against the Mets.
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas will make his final appearance before Tuesday's All-Star Game when he starts the series finale against Cincinnati. Mikolas (10-3, 2.65) has been one of the bright spots in an otherwise up-and-down season for St. Louis, doing so in his first year back in the U.S. after three seasons in Japan. The right-hander won't pitch in the All-Star Game because of his start on the first half's final day, but he'll still receive the full honors in Washington.
KERSHAW IN FORM
It's been a frustrating season physically for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who has made two trips to the disabled list — one because of biceps tendinitis and another with a lower back strain. The left-hander has made four starts since his latest return, and he looked like his usual dominant self in his last outing while throwing six scoreless innings in a win over San Diego earlier this week. Kershaw (3-4, 2.61) will close out the first half when he starts against the Angels.
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